Early and Late Maturers
Size isn’t everything, but in sports it certainly comes into play. Those who mature early and experience almost immediate success can become frustrated as their peers catch. Those who mature late not only experience more failure at early ages—regardless of how hard they try—but they have trouble getting attention even as they mature. Take a look at the issues for both and keep in mind that both types of players require encouragement.
Early maturers hit their growth spurts sooner than their peers. They tend to have an advantage in sports such as hockey that require speed, power, endurance and body mass. For biological reasons—not necessarily because of greater talent or ability—they are able to outperform their peers. In childhood, they may have had successes for which they received much reinforcement and recognition.
Problems arise during adolescence for early maturers—those who experienced success in their younger years get frustrated because their peers suddenly catch up. They no longer experience the same success as before. Coaches may conclude it is because they are not working hard. Part of the dropout rate around age 14 is due to the frustration of early maturers. They don’t understand that the physical changes occurring in their peers are allowing them to catch up. Parents and coaches could do a lot to shore up their self-confidence during this difficult time.
Late maturers have a different set of issues. They often experience failure at the early ages because they are not as physically strong or developed as their early maturing peers. Even though they may work as hard, they often can’t keep up, which is a huge source of frustration. Even as their physical maturity and skills “catch up,” they may continue to have trouble getting coaches’ attention, encouragement and recognition. In other words, coaches may not give them a fair chance to “show their stuff.” Some of these youngsters drop out because of frustration. This seems to hit late maturing boys the hardest because they are at a particular disadvantage. Parents and coaches need to figure out how to keep late maturing kids interested and involved despite a lack of early success. They may turn out to be the stars.
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Laura Stamm of Laura Stamm Power Skating for this story. Laura offers special thanks to her friend and colleague, Dr. Jack Blatherwick, PhD., Physiologist, Washington Capitals Hockey Team for his thoughts, insights and knowledge that contributed to this story.
Fatal error: Call to undefined function wp_related_posts() in /nfs/c03/h06/mnt/57119/domains/phoenixcoyotescare.com/html/wp-content/themes/PhoenixCoyotesCare/single.php on line 32